Friday's three stars: Nash completes to-do list in Denver

No. 1 star: Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets

Nash converted a penalty shot for his 17th goal of the season and picked up the primary assist on three Columbus tallies as the Blue Jackets, who went through December scoring three or fewer goals in 13 of 14 games, erupted for six goals in a 6-1 victory over Colorado. Rookie Steve Mason saw his shutout streak end just shy of 200 minutes and Columbus trailed 1-0 after the first period, but it was all Jackets from there as the franchise won both games in Denver for the first time in team history. For Nash, a guy who likes his points in bunches, it was career four-point game No. 2, his first since the season opener in 2007-08.

No. 2 star: Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils

The leaders in the Art Ross race were mostly usual suspects before Parise crashed the party Friday with two points to jump past Jarome Iginla into fifth place with 46 points. Parise scored the game-winner late in the first period, doing a nice job of showing pass before sliding one past Montreal's Jaroslav Halak. You'll want to check the highlights for the behind-the-back, behind-the-net pass that allowed Jamie Langenbrunner to put his 10-game goalless drought to bed. Simply a thing of beauty.

No. 3 star: Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers

The night owls caught a good one as the Flyers erased a 3-1 deficit in a wild second period that featured six goals. Philadelphia twice scored within 16 seconds of Anaheim goals to quiet a record crowd in Orange County. Richards assisted on three goals and was the only successful shootout participant in what goes in the books as a 5-4 victory.

Honorable mention: Doug Weight became the eighth American-born player to reach the 1,000-point plateau with two assists and Josh Bailey scored his first NHL goal in a losing effort for the Islanders. … Mason's win was his fourth straight. … Joey Crabb finally scored Atlanta's first shorthanded goal of the season, leaving Carolina and Toronto as the only teams yet to turn the tables while a man down. … Anaheim fans turned out in record numbers Friday, breaking the team's nearly 14-year-old home attendance mark (17,597). Corey Perry absorbed a big hit on a no-look pass to Ryan Getzlaf on what may have been the play of the night. … Scott Clemmensen made 33 saves in New Jersey's 4-1 win over Montreal. … The Canadiens' lone goal was scored by Max Pacioretty, who was making his NHL debut. … Cam Ward made 30 saves and narrowly missed his second shutout of St. Louis this season in a 2-1 win. … The Sedin Twins combined for six points in a 4-3 shootout loss. … Ilya Kovalchuk has goals in back-to-back games after nine straight without one.

Dishonorable mention: Seconds after the aforementioned shorthanded goal, Atlanta took a second penalty and saw its 1-0 lead vanish on the ensuing 5-on-3. … A day after the scary injury suffered by Jamie Heward, Blues defenseman Tyson Strachan received a major penalty and game misconduct for checking Ray Whitney into the boards from behind. Thankfully Whitney did not miss a shift. … Minnesota management isn't exactly supportive of Marian Gaborik's decision to undergo hip surgery.

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